Birds on the Bridge

Two peregrine falcon chicks have been relocated from their nesting box on the Robert O. Norris Bridge over the Rappahannock River from Topping to White Stone.

The chicks are about a month old. If they had been left on the bridge and failed to fly on their first attempt, they would have fallen more than 100 feet into the river, where they might have drowned or been eaten.

Peregrin falcons are an endangered species, with only about 25 known peregrine falcon breeding pairs in Virginia.

They feed on pigeons, which also live in or on bridges, by diving at speeds up to 200 miles per hour, and killing their prey primarily by striking them from above with partially-closed talons and catching them in mid-air as they fall.

They like to use the bridge as a site to launch from.

The Coleman Bridge over the York River between Gloucester and York counties has had a peregrine falcon nesting box too for many years.